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    Questions? Ask Henci!

    Find out what other moms-to-be are asking. Join in the discussion with Henci Goer, whose expertise is determining what the research tells us best promotes safe, healthy birth. If you would like to contact Henci outside of the Ask Henci forum, send an email to

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    Oct 31

    Choosing a Care Provider & Place of Birth

    Archived User
    Tina Throm Phifer:
    Thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions. The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth was an invaluable resource for me while I was pregnant with my son. If you have time, I have a question for you as well.

    Recently I had to transfer to the hospital from a planned homebirth for the birth of my son. He was born at midnight and later that morning I felt like we were both ready to go home (no health complications, both healthy). My midwife discharged me but the HMO pediatrician wouldn't discharge my son until he stayed 48 hours. After I said I wanted to leave anyway, he said we could leave "Against Medical Advice" but that if I did, my insurance wouldn't pay for any of my son's charges from the hospital. Since it was a Saturday, I couldn't contact my HMO billing department until Monday morning, so we decided to stay so we didn't risk having a bill we couldn't afford. Is this true? I understand if you don't know about insurance details, but are you aware of this as a tactic for doctors to coerce patients to do what they want? I can barely afford the charges that we did incur, let alone pay for the entire amount.
    Archived User
    Henci Goer:
    I don't know if is true, but, sad to say, I have read more than one 1st-person story of women transferring in from home births where medical staff used this particular tactic to punish them. Did you ever follow up with your insurance company to see if, in fact, they wouldn't have paid? Regardless of whether they would or wouldn't, you may also wish to file a complaint.
    Archived User
    Tina Throm Phifer:
    Thanks for your response. I just contacted my HMO billing department and they said this was false. I wish I would have known that at the time. The sad thing is that my my entire hospital stay was wonderful, except for this pediatrician. I think I will file a complaint. Thanks.

    All Times America/New_York

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